Turn Based Rpg Flash games
You don't need to look further than a game like World of Warcraft to see that even the most experienced developers have trouble maintaining class equilibrium. In this article, which is the first of a three-part series, we take a look at balance from the perspective of a team creating a simple RPG, emphasizing throughout that a solid game design will make balancing your game significantly easier later on.
Note: Although this article focuses primarily on straight turn-based and ATB battle systems, many of the principles will apply to Action RPGs and other statistically-driven games.
Knowing Your Audience
For decades, RPG developers have scrutinized every aspect of their games, only to find that there is no pleasing everyone. Rule #1 of RPG development is to accept this and move on.
Yes, RPG gamers are a diverse bunch, and what might be fun for one gamer can be agony for another. However, that doesn't mean you can't make a well-balanced, crowd pleasing game. And one of the best ways to do this is to start by understanding the kinds of gamers who play RPGs. Categorized by type, they are:
- The Casual Gamer: The casual crowd is more interested in progression then challenge. Present them with a battle they cannot defeat in two or three tries, and they'll likely swear off your game forever.
- The Hardcore Junkie: There are gamers who want to be challenged at every juncture. They value the sense of accomplishment associated with overcoming heroic tasks more than story progression. Some, like those who play Dark Souls, are just gluttons for punishment.
- The Math Nerd: They'll crunch numbers, draw graphs and come up with advanced predictive models, all so they can fully optimize their characters. These gamers don't mind grinding experience, as long as it will help them to improve their character's stats.
- The rest of us are gamers who want to be periodically challenged at critical turning points, but prefer to sail through trash mobs. Gamers of this variety enjoy leveling and building powerful characters, but would rather be slightly less powerful than spend the majority of their time grinding out levels.
Determining the percentage of gamers that fall into each category would be difficult, especially in the current gaming climate. However, notice that the last type of gamer encompasses aspects of each of the other three. They enjoy the story, want the game to be at least somewhat challenging, and understand the value of optimizing their builds. While balancing your RPG around this type of gamer will still draw some criticism from the other three types, it's the best way to attract the biggest audience.
With that in mind, our mock RPG - entitled Final Trigger - will be targeted towards the fourth category of gamer. But of course, you're free to cater to whomever you want; just be sure that your game design reflects your initial vision.
Combine two classic RPGs, and what do you get? Final Trigger.
The Mile-High Approach to RPG Balance
Balancing an RPG may seem like a daunting task, but once you break it down into its constituent parts, it's really not so bad. Begin the design process by examining your goals from a macroscopic level.
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